Dr. Dan Albright, Orthopedic Surgeon in Raleigh, NC discusses when to consider cervical disk replacement surgery. In this video Dr. Albright explains what cervical disk replacement surgery is and when patients should consider it when experiencing nerve pain.
For a consultation with Dr. Dan Albright call 919-863-6808.
Transcript of video:
Hello. When you do a cervical disc replacement? That’s the question I’d liked the address today.
My name is Doctor Dan Albright. I’m an orthopedic spine surgeon at the Raleigh Orthopedic Clinic in Raleigh, North Carolina.
And total disc replacement for the cervical spine is what I would like to talk about. It’s also called arthroplasty. A total disk arthroplasty. What is it and when do you do it?
Well, the cervical spinal – I have a model here. The discs are the soft shock absorbers between the hard bones of the vertebrae. We most commonly would do disc surgery in the neck for a rupture, a herniation. A herniation is when – if the disc is like a jelly donut, it’s when the jelly squirts out from the middle, out to the outside and pinches a nerve.
You get nerve pain into your arm, into your shoulder, into your shoulder blades, scapula. It’s awful pain. It usually gets better without surgery, but not always.
So you need, if you’ve got awful nerve pain, not just neck pain, but pain shooting into the nerve and into the arm surgery is done commonly.
And for decades we’ve done ACVFs. ACVF is a fusion. You going in – it’s a great operation – you go in from the front of the spine from the neck. Take out the whole disc. Take the pressure off the nerves.
Then we’ve got to fill the desk with something. Recently, the science has become very strong to fill that disc not with a fusion material, but with a replacement. A replacement – this is a magnified view – this is actually the lumbar spine, but a disc replacement is mobile. You put it in the empty disc and you can move. So here’s the neck, it’s much smaller and you preserve
So why do you want to preserve motion? Because that’s natural. Your body is made to move. Hip joints are made…we do hip replacements, knee replacements, shoulder and elbow replacements because motion is what your body wants.
So while fusions have been shown to work, it appears that disc replacements may work better. At least when you do two disc levels. There’s recent science saying that two disc levels, when you do a replacement, can work better than a fusion.
How long have replacements been out? Well, 2004 is when I used the Mobi-C disc replacement and that was started in 2004 and tens of thousands of patients have that disc replacement across the world.
Our government, the FDA, approves of the disc replacement, but I’m a big proponent of preserving motion. So, it’s an excellent operation, cervical spine surgery, fusion or disc replacement. My preference is the disc replacement when possible and I highly recommend that operation.
There are some other nuances as to what type of surgery you get and when. I’d be happy to talk to you about those subtleties in my office.
My website is danalbrightmd.com.
And for appointments the phone number is 919-863-6808.